What You Need To Know When The Pope Comes To New York

While Catholics prepare for Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to New York City, local and federal authorities are making some preparations of their own. The NYPD recently announced impending street closures and possible traffic delays throughout midtown Manhattan starting on September 24 and continuing into the 26.

Travel, particularly around St. Patrick’s Cathedral near Fifth Avenue from 47th Street to 55th Street, will be suspended due to the pope’s arrival. However, mass transit agencies are expected to increase service to accommodate the flock of churchgoers. The Metro-North will begin additional services on September 25 with three more inbound trains. Bus schedules will be severely altered due to road closures so it is suggested that commuters utilize subways, which will run as usual.

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Upper East Side Streets near the Papal Nuncio’s Residence on East 72nd Street will also have closures. 71st and 72nd Street will be closed from Madison to Fifth Avenue from 8 am Thursday to 10 am Saturday.

During the General Assembly, many nearby streets will have one lane open, such as 42nd Street from First Avenue to Fifth Avenue, 57th Street from Second Avenue to Fifth Avenue, and Second Avenue from 41st Street to 57th Street.

Those willing to take on the journey can expect heightened security measures at every turn as Pope Francis takes on the Big Apple. Following his arrival in JFK on the 24, Pope Francis will immediately attend an evening prayer at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The following day will consist of several events, including a visit to the United Nations where he will formally address the assembly as they celebrate their 70th anniversary. From there, Pope Francis will attend a service at the 9/11 Memorial Museum, followed by a visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School in East Harlem. To conclude the day, Pope Francis will celebrate mass at Madison Square Garden.

Tickets for these events have not been made available to the public. Instead, tickets were distributed to parishes within the Archdiocese of New York, who were then able to bestow the honor on select parishioners. Despite the scarcity of tickets, several Catholic schools in Westchester have been awarded the opportunity to participate by sending representatives of their own.

Brandon Cabalerio of White Plains will be representing Stepinac High School as he welcomes Pope Francis personally with 11 other select students from the Archdiocese, including Kara Fragola, representing Maria Regina High School in Hartsdale. Three students from Lincoln Hall in Somers were even chosen to construct the altar, lectern, and pulpit to be used in the mass at Madison Square Garden. The teen carpenters, Mauricio Agudero, Frank Corazao, and Byron Duran, will each be attending the mass to see the culmination of their hard work. Iona Preparatory School will be sending three faculty members to the papal mass, while Iona College and the College of New Rochelle will be sending students as well.

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For more information on traffic closures during the Papal visit, see http://www.popefrancisvisit.com/news/new-york-city-announces-road-closures-for-papal-visit/


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